The Value Based Leadership Theory
p> Power motivation is defined as a non-conscious concern for acquiring status and having an impact on others. Individuals with high power motivation tend to enjoy asserting social influence, being persuasive, drawing attention to themselves, and having an impact on their immediate environment including the people with whom they interact. Theoretically, if enacted in a socially constructive manner, high power motivation should result in effective managerial performance in high level positions
(McClelland, 1975; 1985). However, unless constrained by a responsibility disposition, power motivated managers will exercise power in an impetuously aggressive manner for self aggrandizing purposes to the detriment of their subordinates and organizations.

High power motivation induces highly competitive behavior. Therefore, when unconstrained by moral inhibition, power motivation is theoretically predictive of leader effectiveness when the role demands of leaders require strong individual competitiveness, aggressiveness, manipulative exploitive behavior, or the exercise of substantial political influence. The power motive was found by House et al. (1991) to significantly predict presidential charismatic behavior and archival measures of presidential effectiveness.

Responsibility Disposition

According to McClelland, individuals who have a high concern for the moral exercise of power will use power in an altruistic and collectively- oriented manner. Indicators of high concern for responsibility are expressions of concern about meeting moral standards and obligations to others, concern for others, concern about consequences of one’s own action, and critical self judgment.

Winter and Barenbaum (1985) developed and validated a measure of concern for moral responsibility, which they label the responsibility disposition1. The measure is based on quantitative content analysis of narrative text material. Winter (1991) demonstrated that the responsibility disposition, in combination with high power and low affiliative motivation, was predictive of managerial success over a sixteen- year interval.

The responsibility motive should be predictive of leader integrity and leaders' concern for the consequences of their own actions on others.
Leaders with high responsibility disposition are expected to stress the importance of keeping one's word, honesty, fairness, and socially responsible behavior. Thus, we expect the responsibility disposition to be associated with value based leader behavior, supportive leader behavior, fairness, follower trust and respect for the leader and commitment to the leader’s vision, and consequently organizational effectiveness.

Leader Motive Profile Theory

McClelland (1975) argued that the following combination of non- conscious motives are generic to, and predictive of, leader effectiveness: high power motivation, moderate achievement motivation, high concern for the moral exercise of power, and power motivation greater than affiliative motivation. This combination of motives is referred to by McClelland
(1975) as the Leader Motive Profile (LMP).

According to LMP theory, the power motive is necessary for leaders to be effective because it induces them to engage in social influence behavior, and such behavior is required for effective leadership. Further, when the power motive is higher than the affiliative motive, individuals do not engage in the dysfunctional behaviors usually associated with high affiliation motivation - favoritism, submissiveness, and reluctance to monitor and discipline subordinates. Finally, when high power motivation is coupled with a high concern for moral responsibility, individuals are predicted to engage in the exercise of power in an effective and socially desirable manner. Earlier research, also reviewed by McClelland (1985), suggests that the achievement motive is a better predictor of leader effectiveness and success in entrepreneurial organizations than LMP.

Theoretically the leader motive profile is predictive of managerial effectiveness under conditions where leaders need to exercise social influence in the process of making decisions and motivating others to accept and implement decisions. In formal organizations these conditions are found at higher levels and in non-technical functions. By contrast, in smaller technologically based organizations, group leaders can rely on direct contact with subordinates (rather than delegation through multiple organizational levels), and technological knowledge to make decisions.
Thus LMP theory is limited to the boundary conditions of moderate to large non-technologically oriented organizations (McClelland, 1975; Winter,
1978; 1991), and to managers who are separated from the work of the organization by at least one organizational level.

Several studies have demonstrated support for the LMP theory. Winter
(1978) found that LMP was predictive of the career success of entry level managers in non-technical positions in the US Navy over an eight-year interval. Both McClelland and Boyatzis (1982), and Winter (1991), in separate analyses of the same data but with different operationalizations of LMP, found similar results at AT&T over a sixteen-year interval.
McClelland and Burnham (1976) found high-LMP managers had more supportive and rewarding organizational climates, and higher performing sales groups than low-LMP managers did in a large sales organization. House, et al.
(1991) found that the motive components of the LMP predicted US presidential charisma and presidential performance effectiveness.

Since high LMP leaders have greater power than affiliative motivation it is expected that they will be assertive and at least moderately directive. Further, since they have high responsibility motivation it is expected that thay will have highly internalized idological values - values concerning what is morally right and wrong - and that they will thus stress ideological value orientation, integrity, and fairness, as explained above, both verbally and through personal example.

The Path-Goal Theory of Leadership

The essence of path-goal theory is that leader behaviors will be effective when such behaviors complement formal organizational practices and the informal social system by providing direction, clarification, support and motivational incentives to subordinates, which are not otherwise provided (House, 1971; House & Mitchell, 1974; House, 1996).
According to the 1996 version of path-goal theory, leaders who give approval and recognition of subordinates, contingent on performance and in a fair manner, will clarify expectancies of subordinates concerning work goals and rewards, and will effectively motivate subordinates. This theory also predicts that leader consideration toward subordinates provides the psychological support subordinates require, especially in times of stress and frustration.

Path-goal theory suggests that either participative or directive leader behavior can provide psychological structure and direction and therefore clarify subordinates' role demands. Theoretically, directive leader behavior will be dysfunctional and participative leader behavior will be functional when subordinates are highly involved in their work, perceive themselves as having a high level of task related knowledge, and/or prefer a high level of autonomy. Meta-analyses of 135 relationships tested in prior studies provide support for these assertions (Wofford &
Liska, 1993).

Dissonance Theory and Competing Values

According to cognitive dissonance theory, individuals experience anxiety-inducing cognitive dissonance when their self-evaluative cognitions, feelings and behavior are in conflict with each other
(Festinger, 1980). Under such conditions, individuals are strongly motivated to reduce the dissonance by changing one or more of the dissonant components--either their behavior, their cognitions, or their feelings. It follows from dissonance theory that when leaders appeal to ideological values of followers and also administer extrinsic material rewards strictly contingent on follower performance, they will induce cognitive dissonance in followers. Offering strong extrinsic incentives for doing what is claimed to be morally correct will theoretically induce dissonance, and is likely to undermine the effects of leaders' appeals to ideological values.
From dissonance theory, we would expect that with the exception of social rewards such as approval and recognition, contingent reward behavior on the part of leaders will undermine the effects of value based leader behavior.

Equity Theory

Equity theory asserts that when individuals perceive the ratio of their contributions to their rewards (intrinsic or extrinsic) to be equal to the ratio of contributions to rewards of others, they will believe that they are treated fairly (Adams, 1963). We expect that under conditions of perceived unfairness followers will feel resentment, be demotivated, will not support and may even resist attempts by leaders to influence them.

Situational Strength

Mischel (1973) has argued that the psychological strength of situations influences the degree to which individual dispositions such as motives or personality traits are expressed behaviorally. Strong situations are situations in which there are strong behavioral norms, strong incentives for specific types of behaviors, and clear expectations concerning what behaviors are rewarded. According to this argument, in strong situations, motivational or personality tendencies are constrained and there will be little behavioral expression of individual dispositions.
Thus, in organizations that are highly formalized and governed by well- established role expectations, norms, rules, policies and procedures, there is less opportunity for organizational members to behaviorally express their dispositional tendencies.

Theoretically, in strong psychological situations, leader motives have less influence on leader behavior, and leader behavior has less influence on subordinates and on organizational outcomes than in weak psychological situations. Studies by Monson, Healy and Chernick (1982), Lee, Ashford, and Bobko (1990), and Barrick and Mount (1993) have demonstrated support for Mischel's situational strength argument.


This theory consists of six axioms and twenty-seven propositions that relate leader behavior, leader motives, and situational variables to leader effectiveness.

The Parsimonious Meta–Proposition of Value Based Leadership

Value based leadership theory is based on the meta–proposition that non-conscious motives and motivation based on strongly internalized values is stronger, more pervasive, and more enduring than motivation based on instrumental calculations of anticipated rewards or motivation based on threat and avoidance of punishment. The axioms and propositions that follow are derived from and can all be explained in terms of this parsimonious meta-proposition.

The Value Based Leader Behavior Syndrome

Behaviors that characterize value based leadership include a) articulation of a challenging vision of a better future to which followers are claimed to have a moral right; b) unusual leader determination, persistence, and self-sacrifice in the interest of the vision and the values inherent in the vision; c) communication of high performance expectations of followers and confidence in their ability to contribute to the collective; d) display of self-confidence, confidence in followers, and confidence in the attainment of the vision; e) display of integrity; f) expressions of concern for the interests of followers and the collective; g) positive evaluation of followers and the collective; h) instrumental and symbolic behaviors that emphasize and reinforce the values inherent in the collective vision; i) role modelling behaviors that set a personal example of the values inherent in the collective vision; j) frame-alignment behaviors--behaviors intended to align followers' attitudes, schemata, and frames with the values of the collective vision; and, k) behaviors that arouse follower motives relevant to the pursuit of the vision. We refer to these behaviors collectively as the value based leader behavior syndrome.

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